Portland, Oregon, is a city that has gained a reputation for being quirky, unique, and welcoming. With its lush greenery, thriving arts scene, and expansive gastronomic options, the city has mesmerized many tourists with its visceral experience, and its nightlife is no exception.
The city has a vibrant music scene with a long history of producing indie and alternative rock bands. Additionally, Portland has a thriving arts scene, which includes a diverse range of galleries, theater performances, and film festivals.
As for food and beverage, Portland has also made significant contributions to the world of craft beer and specialty coffee, with many microbreweries and coffee shops that have become destinations in their own right.
Apart from restaurants and bars, experiencing Portland’s nightlife is only complete with trying their food carts that are open even at wee hours. These mobile kitchens offer a wide range of culinary options, making them a popular destination for late-night eats.
Where To Party in Portland?
Portland, Oregon, is home to several popular party areas, each with its unique atmosphere and character, which is a testament to how the city throws a party. One of the most popular areas to bar hop is Pearl District, downtown, with several clubs and music venues in the area that once was an abandoned trainyard.
You can find dive bars, craft, dance clubs, and music venues, as well as several food carts and late-night eateries at the historic Old Town-Chinatown, Southeast, with several popular neighborhoods such as Hawthorne, Belmont, and Division Street. These areas are known for their laid-back and eclectic vibe and outdoor seating, making them a great place to enjoy a drink and socialize with friends on a warm summer evening.
Finally, the Alberta Arts District is another popular area for nightlife, with several galleries, boutiques, and specialty shops, as well as some bars and restaurants with a great focus on what makes Portland authentic.
Portland Nightlife & Safety Tips
Although Portland has a lower-than-average standard of living, the city is generally safe, thanks to its strong law enforcement in primary neighborhoods, 24/7 public transportation, and active neighborhood watch programs, which shows the city’s sense of community.
That said, anyone can enjoy the city’s nightlife without having to worry about getting mugged or robbed; it’s important always to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions, such as traveling in groups and staying in well-lit areas avoiding confrontations with strangers.
How Expensive Is It To Party In Portland?
The cost of partying in Portland can be moderate to high, depending on the luxury and entertainment you are looking for. Cover charges at nightclubs and high-end bars in popular party areas like the Pearl District and Old Town Chinatown can range from $10 to $20.
Prices for drinks and food at these establishments can also be a tad higher than at more budget-friendly bars and restaurants, but there are always budget-friendly options for partying in Portland, such as dive bars and food carts, where prices can be much lower, and some offer happy hour rates.
Portland Nightlife Venues
Portland Nightlife on a Monday
The best bar in Portland on a Monday – Shift Drinks
Shift Drinks bar is a budget-friendly establishment known for its creative and well-crafted cocktails, happy hour specials, and small bites menu. This bar hosts various events throughout the year, including live music and trivia nights, as well as seasonal events like a pumpkin-carving contest during Halloween.
The best club on a Monday – Goodfoot Pub & Lounge
Goodfoot Pub & Lounge in the Southeast of the city is known for its live music and dance parties, as well as its extensive selection of local beer and craft cocktails you can enjoy in a laid-back atmosphere with an eclectic crowd.
Portland Nightlife on a Tuesday
The best bars in Portland on Tuesday – Bar at The Sapphire Hotel
When in doubt, you can always start a night in a speakeasy, and for that, the bar at The Sapphire Hotel is the best example with its vintage charm, complete with chandeliers and mirrors that are suited best for a romantic evening. This bar focuses on classic cocktails and small plates like charcuterie and cheese boards.
The best clubs on a Tuesday – Holocene
Holocene has a reputation for being one of the best dance spots in the city, hosting a range of events and themed parties, including queer dance nights and indie rock shows. The unique dance floor is made from reclaimed wood, and the club also features a cozy lounge area for a break from the dance floor.
The best bar in Portland on Wednesday – Multnomah Whiskey Library
Multnomah Whiskey Library is an upscale bar that offers a library-like atmosphere with floor-to-ceiling shelves stocked with more than 1,500 spirits in a dimly lit space perfect for a cozy night out with friends or a romantic date.
The best club in Portland on Wednesday– 45 East
45 East in the industrial district of Southeast Portland is a premier nightclub that attracts top DJs and performers worldwide. The club has a state-of-the-art sound system, multiple bars, and a spacious dance floor.
Thursday Portland Nightlife
The best bar in Portland on Thursday – The Rum Club
If you love rum, The Rum Club at the Buckman neighborhood Caribbean-inspired bar offers an extensive selection of rums, tropical cocktails, and island-inspired food. The bar’s vibrant decor and live music create a lively and fun atmosphere.
The best club on a Thursday – Bit House Saloon
Bit House Saloon is one of Portland’s premiere live music venues that hosts rock and indie events in a cozy and intimate atmosphere perfect for a night out with friends or a romantic date. This club has a speakeasy vibe serving its signature cocktails and local beer selection.
Friday & Saturday Portland Nightlife
Best bar on Friday & Saturday – Teardrop Cocktail Lounge
Teardrop Cocktail Lounge is an award-winning establishment in the downtown District known for its innovative and seasonal cocktail menu, including its classic Negroni and signature gin and tonics made deliciously by its highly regarded crew.
Best club on the weekend in Portland – Star Theater
Star Theater is a historic theater turned nightclub that hosts a range of events from live music to burlesque shows. The theater’s unique architecture and vintage decor create a memorable and exciting atmosphere.
Best Bar on Sunday – The Coffin Club
Formerly Lovecraft Bar, The Coffin Bar in the Buckman neighborhood takes from HP Lovecraft’s works of horror novels, delightfully translated into this night venue’s menu and activities that include live music, dance parties, and horror movie screenings. It’s the home of the city’s Goth community.
Best club on Sunday – Doug Fir Lounge
Doug Fir Lounge is a trendy club and music venue in the lower Burnside neighborhood that has a sleek and modern design, focusing on indie rock and electronic music blasting through their top-of-the-line sound systems and acoustics.
Portland Nightlife Summary
Portland has a vibrant nightlife scene with various options for locals and visitors alike. The city offers a mix of bars, clubs, live music venues, and theaters, as well as a thriving food and drink scene which anyone can enjoy without breaking the bank. Some popular neighborhoods for nightlife include the Pearl District, Old Town/Chinatown, and the Southeast Industrial District.